Categorized | National News

National Training Agency to Graduate Thousands Per Year

Minister of Labour Shane Gibson in Parliament on Tuesday announced that the government’s National Training Agency is expected to graduate over 3,000 young people every year.

He said it’s just one of the government’s initiatives being undertaken to train and employ young Bahamians to take full opportunity of the job prospects to come on stream in the country.

The national unemployment rate now stands just over 13 per cent and the youth employment rate at 27 per cent.

The minister said the agency will aggressively address the challenge of preparing young adults, in particular those 25 and under, who make up 32 per cent of unemployed persons, for successful entry into the workforce.

“The NTA will be established as a competency-based training and job placement system that is flexible and responsive to the actual requirements of the workplace via a network of suitable training institutions, organisations and programmes involved in the process of supplying qualified and skilled labour for the country,” he said.

“The agency’s training system is designed to develop and improve employable skills and competencies; transform undesirable attitudes and behaviors toward work; reduce functional and numerical illiteracy; encourage and increase civic pride; lower the high levels of unemployment, especially among youth and young adults, and positively influence the reduction of crime.”

“In establishing this entity, the government of The Bahamas recognises the importance of the entity being stakeholder driven, given that it must facilitate co-operation between employers and employers’ organisations, businesses, communities, training institutions and programme, trainees, Urban Renewal 2.0 and the government.”

According to the minister, the functions of the agency will include providing leadership and structure for the development of industry standardized, competency based training, providing the organized framework for the delivery of industry-based competency training, facilitating workforce readiness and expanding the opportunity for increased job placement.

He added that the agency will commence its training function with the introduction of several pilot programs, which will run an average of ten weeks each and include hospitality, tourism, auto service and office procedures.

“All registrants must participate in a four-week ‘Mandatory Workforce Preparatory/ Behavioral Transformation’ programme,” he said.

“This programme substitutes for academic certificates, because many school graduates and others don’t have them. This mandatory program for all registrants will provide an indicator of the commitment, discipline and interest that registrants have in self-improvement and development.”

“If they are not willing or can’t do twelve half days they will not be able to do ten (10) weeks.”

The first set of programs, expected to be launched next month, he said, will accommodate approximately 625 trainees in Nassau in the four programs with 400 of these slated for hospitality and tourism with 250 in Freeport, 95 in Abaco and 80 in Exuma.

The minister believes that with annual graduations projected at 3,000 to 4,000, the agency will be in a strong position to produce Bahamians with the necessary practical competencies and skills to meet the current and future demands of Baha Mar, which is projecting over 4,000 positions by December 2014, Bimini Resorts World, Reef Resort and Kerzner International with 300 to 400 recurring replacement jobs.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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